Darby Riley already has seen dividends from lower pay-to-participate fees with his Northridge High School football team, and the first-year coach expects other programs to see a similar boost in participation.

Darby Riley already has seen dividends from lower pay-to-participate fees with his Northridge High School football team, and the first-year coach expects other programs to see a similar boost in participation.

The district, which charged $500 per sport during the last school year, dropped the fees in June to $400 for the first sport, $250 for a second sport and $200 for a third.

"It looks like we'll be up around 40 kids because we got a few kids back that should have played last year," said Riley, who was an assistant last season when the Vikings topped out at 35 players. "The biggest thing is to give credit to (athletics director) Wayne Howard and the group of people working for our athletes.

"It's nice to be like other schools with (pay-to-participate fees) that the cost goes down for the second and third sports. (The $500 fee) was brutal last year."

No program felt the sting more than boys soccer. With only 11 players signing up and no more than eight showing up for workouts, the team never got past mid-August as the season was canceled.

Denise Shedloski, whose son Alex is an all-district goalkeeper with the Vikings, is happy the program looks to be revived for his senior season this fall.

"Last year we only had five show up at our soccer camp, and that was a disaster," she said. "This year 22 kids have shown interest, and it would be great if we were able to keep at least 15 or 16."

Denise Shedloski will be an assistant under Leonard Moffatt, a native of Ghana who played for the African country in the 2008 Olympics.

"I think (the numbers) might have something to do with (the lower fees)," she said. "I believe that will definitely be a bonus."

Howard said the goal was to get more kids competing in athletics to help the school not only produce good students, but well-rounded citizens.

"I want to get more kids involved," he said. "We lost more than 30 percent of our athletes (from the 2010-11 school year) because, quite honestly, many could not pay for a second or third sport.

"We want to try to bring those kids back in to play two or three sports. Because of the high fees, we had cross country runners who didn't go out for track and we didn't have basketball and wrestlers going out for spring sports."

Coach Gene Weil had only nine girls and five boys out for the track and field teams last spring. He expects those numbers to grow next season.

"(The $500 fee) is a lot of money and (the new fees) are a lot more attractive for next year," Weil said. "We should have a lot more bodies than we did this (past) season."

Boys golf coach Tony Bilderback believes the lower fees may help his program.

"I don't know exactly how many we'll have this fall, but it is $100 cheaper than last year," he said. "I expect we may have one or two new kids."

Although wrestling coach Eric Potts has no way to gauge at this time the effect of the fees on his program, he believes he has seen a positive impact in the weight room.

"I like the new fee structure because it will encourage kids to play more than one or two sports," Potts said. "I'm not sure if we'll have more (wrestlers), but the football numbers seem to be better for the bodies showing up for weight training.

"I think that would encourage more (athletes) to go out for the spring sports. I know some of the boys and girls were depleted after (paying $500 each) for the first two sports. Hopefully that will help those sports out a lot."